By Faith, Not by Feelings

Panting for The Lord
Psalm 42:1-4 ESV

“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
‘Where is your God?’
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.”

Do we pant for God? Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness? Or do we pant for the things of this life? What is the focus of our lives? What do we think about mostly? What gets our passion? What do we get excited about in a good way? What is it we talk about mostly with our friends?

Are we grieved over sin? – Over all the evil in the church and in the world? Do we weep over all those within the gatherings of the church who are walking in the flesh, still in slavery to sin? Does it concern us at all that the church has been turned into a marketplace and that the gospel has been altered to appeal to human flesh?

It is good if we do, and if we are calling out to God in prayer to deliver those within the gatherings of the church who are still walking in darkness from their slavery to sin. But we must not grieve to the point to where it brings us down, and to where we get depressed, and to where we lose our joy in the Lord.

We must not let the things of this world or the problems within the church or in our own lives to weigh us down and to get us depressed to where we falter in our own faith and witness, and to where we retreat from obeying the Lord, and to where we no longer serve the Lord and minister his love and grace to others.

His Song is With Me
Psalm 42:6-10 ESV

“My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
‘Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?’
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
‘Where is your God?’”

When we feel sad or lonely or depressed over things in our lives or in other people’s lives or over what is going on presently in the world and in our nations and in our families and in the church, we should call on Jesus in our sorrow. And, we need to focus our minds and attention on eternity and on what awaits us on the other side.

For, Jesus never promised us that the Christian life would be easy or that it would be free from pain and sorrow. In fact, he promised us the opposite. He said that if we follow him that we will be hated and mistreated as he was, and that the Christian life is a life of suffering for righteousness’ sake.

For, in our suffering we learn to rely on God and not on ourselves. We learn perseverance and steadfastness of spirit. We grow in our walks of faith with the Lord, as our Lord is making us holy, and as he is conforming us to the likeness of Jesus. And, we learn compassion and love for others, too.

So, we need to let the Lord grow us through these times. We need to be listening to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. We must pay attention to the commands of our Lord, and in the power of God’s Spirit living within us, we must be walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Our desire must be for our God and for Him alone.

For, there are going to be times in our lives where we are going to feel as though the Lord has abandoned us, but a lot of that will come from ignorance of the word of God and of what it teaches us regarding the subjects of suffering and of God’s sovereignty.

Hope in God
Psalm 42:11 ESV

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.”

So, what we need to realize here is that, if we genuinely are believing in Jesus Christ, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord promises to never leave us or forsake us. Even when we don’t feel his presence, he is still there. He will never leave us comfortless.

We just need to draw on his strength, and we must follow him in surrender to his will for our lives even when we can’t feel him near us. For, we walk by faith, not by sight. We live by faith, not by our feelings. So, we obey our Lord even when our emotions aren’t there.

Never Grow Old

By James C Moore, 1914

I have heard of a land
On the faraway strand,
’Tis a beautiful home of the soul;
Built by Jesus on high,
There we never shall die,
’Tis a land where we never grow old.

In that beautiful home
Where we’ll never more roam,
We shall be in the sweet by and by;
Happy praise to the King
Through eternity sing,
’Tis a land where we never shall die.

When our work here is done
And the life crown is won,
And our troubles and trials are o’er;
All our sorrow will end,
And our voices will blend
With the loved ones who’ve gone on before.

Never grow old, Where we’ll never grow old,
In a land where we’ll never grow old;
Never grow old, Where we’ll never grow old,
In a land where we’ll never grow old.

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5 thoughts on “By Faith, Not by Feelings

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